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Wells Fargo, M&T, Comerica: The Biggest Banking Moves in March

Wells Fargo board members resign, M&T adds EVPs, Comerica appoints tech chief, and other major moves from this month

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
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Wells Fargo, M&T, Comerica: The Biggest Banking Moves in March

Wells Fargo— Two members of the banking giant’s board of directors — including the board’s chair — resigned on March 8.

Chair Elizabeth Duke and board member James Quigley both quit their roles “to facilitate the bank’s and the new CEO’s ability to turn the page and avoid distraction”, the pair said in a joint statement.

Charles Noski, a former Bank of America chief financial officer who joined the Wells Fargo board in June 2019, has replaced Duke as chair.

Chief executive Charles Scharf, appointed in October 2019, has made sweeping changes to the company’s structure and operations in a bid to restore customer trust following a string of scandals.

Duke and Quigley said: “Since we were made aware of the egregious harms suffered by Wells Fargo’s customers, we were and remain fiercely determined to do right by them and to strengthen the bank’s culture and controls. We have made these our top priorities…

“Out of continued loyalty to Wells Fargo and ongoing commitment to serve our customers and employees, we recommended to our colleagues on the board that we step down from our leadership roles and they have accepted our resignation from the board.

“We believe that our decision will facilitate the bank’s and the new CEO’s ability to turn the page and avoid distraction that could impede the bank’s future progress.”

Separately, chief accounting officer Richard Levy is to retire after 18 years with the bank. He will leave the business on March 31, according to a statement.

Levy joined Wells Fargo in 2002 and previously held senior roles at New York Life Insurance Company, law firm Coopers & Lybrand, and Midatlantic Corporation.

Muneera Carr, who joined Wells Fargo in January 2020 as executive vice president and controller, will succeed Levy as chief accounting officer, reporting to chief financial officer John Shrewsberry.

In addition, Ellen Patterson has been appointed as senior executive vice president and general counsel. She joins from TD Bank where she held a similar role, and previously worked for New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Elsewhere, Jack Ginter has been named head of Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s ultra-high-net-worth wealth management division. He was previously a senior managing director.

M&T Bank— The New York-headquartered banking group has appointed two new executive vice presidents: Laura O’Hara, general counsel, and Julianne Urban, chief auditor.

O’Hara joined the group in 2017 and has more than 30 years of litigation, compliance and risk management experience.

Urban is responsible for managing all audit activities at M&T, and reports directly to the audit committee of the bank’s board of directors.

Comerica— Megan Crespi has been named executive vice president and chief enterprise technology and operations services officer at Comerica.

She replaces Paul Obermeyer, who will retire on September 1, 2020 after a transition period.

Crespi joins from Ally Financial where she served as chief technology officer. Prior to joining Ally in 2009, she held a number of technology roles at companies including General Motors, MicroStrategy, and PwC.

Obermeyer has worked for Comerica for just over 30 years. He joined the National Bank of Commerce of Dallas in 1981, which was acquired by Comerica in 1993. He has held his current position since 2010.

Silicon Valley Bank— Jane Leung has been appointed chief investment officer at SVB’s private bank and wealth advisory division.

She joins from Scenic Advisement, a San Francisco-based investment bank, and has previously worked for BlackRock’s iShares business, Berger & Associates, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Huntingdon— Commercial banking director Rick Remiker is to retire in May after a 38-year career in financial services.

In a statement, the company said Remiker had expanded its asset finance arm, led the growth of its capital markets and specialty banking divisions, and led the acquisitions and integrations of several businesses.

Remiker previously served as chief administrative officer for RBS Citizens Asset Finance, launched Merrill Lynch Capital’s commercial equipment finance business, and was president and chief operating officer of KeyBank’s middle-market and large-ticket leasing business.

Scott Kleinman is to succeed Remiker as commercial banking director, Huntingdon said. He has worked at the company for 28 years and is currently executive managing director of Huntington Capital Markets.

Santander— Pierre Habis has been named head of consumer and business banking at Santander US, effective May 4.

He will oversee the growth and transformation of the division, the company said in a statement, including expanding its products and services across retail and commercial client bases.

He was previously managing director and head of consumer banking at MUFG Union Bank, and president of its subsidiary PurePoint Financial.

Regions Bank- Tara Ann Plimpton has been named senior executive vice president and general counsel at Regions, succeeding the retiring J ‘Boots’ Gale, the company announced earlier this month.

Plimpton joins from General Electric where she was general counsel for a number of divisions over a 17-year career. Prior to joining GE, Plimpton was managing partner of at a law firm providing legal counsel to a variety of corporate clients.

Gale is to move to a “senior advisory role” until retiring later this year, Regions said.

Alerus Financial Corporation— Alerus has announced that it has appointed its first chief revenue officer, Ryan Goldberg. He will join the company on March 31. Goldberg was previously director of retail banking at Flagstar Bank.

Alerus recently listed on the Nasdaq, raising $62.8 million through its IPO.

Community Bank— The East Coast-based banking group has announced that Scott Kingsley, its executive vice president and chief operating officer, is to retire on June 30. His responsibilities will be taken on by other members of the leadership team.

Kingsley has been COO since June 2018, having been chief financial officer since joining Community Bank in 2004.

Homestreet— Homestreet Bank has appointed John Michel as chief financial officer for both the bank and its parent group. He will take up his new position on May 4.

Michel was previously CFO at First Foundation and has held a number of similar finance positions at banks and financial services companies.

Pinnacle Financial Partners— The Nashville, Tennessee-based bank has appointed Dana Sanders as chief audit executive. She replaces Kevin McDermott, who came out of retirement temporarily in 2019 to help establish the bank’s internal audit function.

Sanders was previously principal accounting officer at Pinnacle, having joined in 2009 from KPMG.

Webster— Teshia Levy-Grant has joined the bank as senior vice president, Diversity and Inclusion Officer. She will be responsible for “long-term planning and execution of programs aimed at promoting a diverse workforce and fostering an open and inclusive work environment”, Webster said in a statement.

Levy-Grant was previously dean for equity and inclusion at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Bankwell— Connecticut community bank Bankwell has appointed Matthew McNeill as executive vice president and chief banking officer.

He joins from Metropolitan Commercial Bank in New York where he was head of commercial lending. During a 20-year banking career, he has also worked at HSBC, Santander and American Real Estate Lending.

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